Industry News

Whispering Pines Golf Club reopens following extensive course construction

Texas course architect Chet Williams, who designed Whispering Pines in 1998 when he was with Nicklaus Design Group, oversees the work on the site in Trinity, Texas

TRINITY, Texas (October 6, 2020) Whispering Pines Golf Club, a nationally-ranked and recognized golf course, has reopened after an extensive new construction by Texas golf course architect Chet Williams.

The 7th hole at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas
The 7th hole at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas

The course, which was originally designed in 1998 by Williams when he was with the Nicklaus Design Group, is consistently ranked as a top course by Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Golfweek and others. The course also serves as the host of the bi-annual Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship, which brings top men and women amateur golfers together for a team and individual golf event.

“After 20 years, we felt like it was time to revamp the course, so it continues to provide the best possible experiences for both our members and for the great players who compete here,” said Corby Robertson Jr., founder of Whispering Pines Golf Course and The Spirit Golf Association (SGA), 501(c)(3). “We’ve remained close with Chet through the years and have worked with him on various projects. This is his baby, so we felt comfortable with him leading this project and, as always, his work has exceeded our expectations.”

Under Williams’ guidance, the course was entirely re-grassed with Zeon Zoysia in the fairways and rough and TifEagle Bermuda on the greens. All of the greens were completely rebuilt, including several that were totally redesigned, and all tee boxes were leveled with several new tees added. The course’s bunkers were also rebuilt with some eliminated and others added.

“It’s always a challenge to take what many consider a masterpiece and make changes,” said Williams. “However, course design has changed over the past 20 years and Corby and I had been making a list of changes we’ve wanted to make for quite some time. I’m pleased with the result and know that golfers will find Whispering Pines even better than ever.”

“While the new bunkers and tees are nice improvements, I believe the grass will be the most noticeable change for members and others who have played here,” he added. “The old 419 Bermuda was simply worn out and it showed. Now, from tee through the green, it’s just beautiful.”

The property which encompasses Whispering Pines Golf Club was purchased by local philanthropists Barbara and Corby Robertson Jr. in 1970 for neighboring Camp Olympia, a renowned summer camp. In 1998, the Robertson’s vision for the property broadened when they decided to add a world-class golf course. Williams, then with the Nicklaus Design Group, was hired to design the ‘best course’ in Texas. Twenty months later, in March 2000, Whispering Pines Golf Club opened its doors and rave reviews ensued.

The construction was strategically planned to begin during the course’s end of season closure in December 2019, to be completed during the break and to reopen to members in the fall of 2020.

“We’ve always taken great pride in our excellent course conditions,” said Robertson. “The construction was a response to upholding that standard of excellence. Chet and the team reimagined the course and added some fine tuning and we’re very pleased to share the new Whispering Pines Golf Club”

Members of The Spirit Golf Association, 501(c)(3), receive playing privileges at Whispering Pines. The Spirit Golf Association, 501(c)(3), serves as the host for the Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship. This event will be held again in 2021. In addition, SGA also hosts the Spirit Charity Challenge featuring Spirit alumni and Spirit Hall of Fame Game which features local sports Hall of Famers and celebrities at the course.

For additional information on Whispering Pines Golf Club and membership opportunities, please contact Bettiann Barnard at The Spirit Golf Association, 501(c)(3), bbarnard@spiritgolf.org.

About Whispering Pines Golf Club| Located in Trinity, Texas, Whispering Pines Golf Club is approximately 88 miles north of Houston situated on a spectacular 400-acre property featuring piney woods, creeks, lakes, natural dunes, and abundant wildlife. The golf experience at Whispering Pines Golf Club is truly memorable for its members and invited guests.

Whispering Pines is re-opening after some extensive course construction. Below is a list of construction highlights:
· All greens were totally rebuilt with minor design adjustments.
· All tees were re-leveled and some additional tees were added.
· An extensive amount of new drainage was added to help the course play firmer and will allow players to get back onto the course quicker after rain events.
· A new irrigation system was installed.
· All bunkers were rebuilt including new drainage, liners, and sand. Some bunkers were eliminated, some were moved and some were added.
· Continuous cart paths were added throughout the course.
· The course was entirely re-grassed. The fairways and roughs were grassed with Zeon Zoysia grass and the greens were outfitted with TifEagle Bermuda grass.

To view the new course, click here.